noun an·i·mos·i·ty \ ˌa-nə-ˈmä-sə-tē \
|Updated on: 7 Jul 2018

Definition of animosity

plural animosities
: a strong feeling of dislike or hatred : ill will or resentment tending toward active hostility : an antagonistic attitude

Examples of animosity in a Sentence

  1. Few rivalries can match that of the Cards and Cubs in terms of history, color and animosity. Things are tense in an off year, but in 2003 the teams are at the top of the National League Central division (along with the Houston Astros), separated by a half-game. —John GrishamNew York Times Book Review1 May 2005
  2. As I get older, I have noticed the troubles many of my friends have with their fathers: the animosities and disappointments, held so long in the arrears of late adolescence, suddenly coming up due on both ends. But my father and I, if anything, have gotten closer, even as I understand him less and less. —Tom BissellHarper'sDecember 2004
  3. What I did not anticipate, however, was the depth of animosity that had been simmering among the teachers beneath the pleasantries that characterized our public, formal encounters. I discovered that my enthusiastic advocacy for whole language was received by traditional teachers as demeaning, insulting attacks. —Elaine GaranLanguage ArtsSeptember 1998
  4. We put aside our personal animosities so that we could work together.

  5. his open animosity towards us made our meeting very uncomfortable

Recent Examples of animosity from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'animosity.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Where Does the Word animosity Come From?

The important Latin word animus (very closely related to anima) could mean a great many things having to do with the soul and the emotions, one of them being "anger". As an English word, animus has generally meant "ill will", so it isn't mysterious that animosity means basically the same thing. Animosity can exist between two people, two groups or organizations, or two countries, and can sometimes lie hidden for years before reappearing. The deep animosities that exist between certain ethnic and religious groups sometimes seem as if they will last forever.

Origin and Etymology of animosity

Middle English animosite, from Middle French or Late Latin; Middle French animosité, from Late Latin animositat-, animositas, from Latin animosus spirited, from animus — see animus

Synonym Discussion of animosity

enmity, hostility, antipathy, antagonism, animosity, rancor, animus mean deep-seated dislike or ill will. enmity suggests positive hatred which may be open or concealed.
    • an unspoken enmity
hostility suggests an enmity showing itself in attacks or aggression.
    • hostility between the two nations
antipathy and antagonism imply a natural or logical basis for one's hatred or dislike, antipathy suggesting repugnance, a desire to avoid or reject, and antagonism suggesting a clash of temperaments leading readily to hostility.
    • a natural antipathy for self-seekers
    • antagonism between the brothers
animosity suggests intense ill will and vindictiveness that threaten to kindle hostility.
    • animosity that led to revenge
rancor is especially applied to bitter brooding over a wrong.
    • rancor filled every line of his letters
animus adds to animosity the implication of strong prejudice.
    • objections devoid of personal animus

ANIMOSITY Defined for Kids


noun an·i·mos·i·ty \ ˌa-nə-ˈmä-sə-tē \

Definition of animosity for Students

plural animosities

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